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7/30/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Bush Administration proposes new federal transportation plan


The Bush Administration recently unveiled a new plan designed to refocus, reform and renew the nation's transportation strategy.

"Without a doubt, our federal approach to transportation is broken, and no amount of tweaking, adjusting or adding new layers on top will make things better," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters in a prepared statement. "It is time for a new, a different and a better approach."

The plan would overhaul the way transportation decisions and investments are made. The administration aims to spur debate about how to best incorporate new reforms into surface transportation legislation that's scheduled to be considered by Congress in 2009, said Peters.

The proposal addresses urban congestion and would give more flexibility to state and local leaders to invest in transit and highway priorities based on the needs of local commuters. The administration also proposes the creation of a Metropolitan Innovation Fund that would provide funding for cities that combine transit investments, dynamic highway pricing and new traffic technologies.

In addition, the plan calls for replacing the more than 100 federal transportation programs with eight comprehensive intermodal programs, as well as streamlining the federal review process to reduce the current 13-year average it takes to carry out transit and highway projects.

A copy of the reform plan is available at www.fightgridlocknow.gov.


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